Questions pertaining to the Hebrew language, as related to Judaism. See the help center: http://judaism.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic

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What mean the words Girsha and Mochel?

These two words seems related to each other. I often heard "he is mochel the tnay (the condition)" or " girsha stam". I think it means something like he abandoned his condition but I can't find the ...
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157 views

Any Rules for Qamets Chatuph When Khaf Follows Chet?

In my slow but constant pursuit of Hebrew knowledge, I have not yet resolved the rules for the Qamets Chatuph (the Qamets that produces an "o" sound as opposed to an "a" sound). Fortunately, some ...
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2answers
948 views

What's wrong with 'Hip Hip Hooray'?

When cutting the cake at a Jewish birthday party, or other celebrations when a cheer is called for, 'Hip Hip, Hooray!' is never used but rather the Hebrew 'Heyach!' 'Heydad!'. It seems to be a great ...
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1answer
54 views

Did Moses divorce Tziporah? [duplicate]

Exodus 18:2: וַיִּקַּ֗ח יִתְרוֹ֙ חֹתֵ֣ן מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶת־צִפֹּרָ֖ה אֵ֣שֶׁת מֹשֶׁ֑ה אַחַ֖ר שִׁלּוּחֶֽיהָ׃ And Jethro, Moses’father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’wife, after he had sent her away ...
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52 views

In Kiddush Levana, what does the phrase עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת לַעֲמוּסֵי בָטֶן refer to?

There is an interesting metaphor used in the bracha for Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the moon): עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת לַעֲמוּסֵי בָטֶן translated (loosely) as "A crown of beauty to those ...
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46 views

Could you translate this Hebrew poetry to English? [closed]

Shalom aleichem, Could you translate this Hebrew poetry to English? I listened to this poetry (but in form of a song) in Idan Raichel's first album. It is of R. Shlomo Shabezi. Im Tepetzchah (If ...
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1answer
96 views

שאול - Sha-ul vs She-ol

Ignoring vowelization, Sha-ul and She-ol is spelled the same way שאול We know that Shaul's name was derived from the root radical שאל = to question. However, She-ol is pronounced like ש - אול ...
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1answer
107 views

Is/Where is Tefillot (or Tefillah) ever spelt with a yud?

I have almost always seen the word Tefillah and I suppose Tefillot, spelt with no Yud. Tav, Feh, Lamed, Vav, Tav. (Tefillot) Tav, Feh, Lamed, Heh (Tefillah) But the Sacks singers siddur spells it ...
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2answers
78 views

הִיא vs הִוא in siddurim

In siddurim[1] , in the passage of veshammeru, even when reported with full teamim, אוֹת הִוא לְעֹלָם is always converted to אוֹת הִיא לְעֹלָם, with the yod instead of the vav. Why is the ...
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1answer
86 views

Why is birkas kohanim in the masculine singular?

If the kohanim are blessing the entire people, one would think that it should be worded, "יברככם...וישמרכם" Why is it in the singular form? On a related note, if a father places this blessing on his ...
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1answer
176 views

Aramaic sections of davening in Hebrew

From the answers I received to this question, the reason we still say some sections of davening (prayer) in Aramaic seems to be that it is historically a Jewish language, and using it unifies all ...
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2answers
152 views

Midrash/Medrash

Can anyone explain to me the difference between Midrash and Medrash? Is one of them known to be more correct (i.e. most likely older)?
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1answer
42 views

What is the hebrew Word for the rationalist approach [closed]

What is the hebrew term for the rationalist approach of the Rambam, the Ran, the Rivash, Ralbag etc.?
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1answer
73 views

Adon vs. Baal, what's the most obvious difference?

I know I'm not supposed to ask about basic hebrew, but I can't find a place to post this to, given that there's no hebrew language section here at stackexchange. So, allow me to complicate things a ...
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1answer
44 views

Is a ש after a holam always a “shin” and never a “sin”?

In some siddurim that are printed in certain Hebrew fonts, you will find words such as משה (Moshe) or חשך (darkness) that do not print with two nekudot. The most explicit way to point these words ...
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1answer
136 views

Avodah Melachah; work what is the difference

The roots לאך and עבד are the basis to form the words that could be translated as 'work' מלאכה and עבדה. But what is the difference? What distinguishing work from work? Some times its prohibited to ...
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2answers
89 views

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good book on dikduk?

I'm looking for a good book on dikduk for strictly loshon hakodesh (for studying tanach and talmud) . Any suggestions? in english preferably
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2answers
78 views

What is the meaning of the phrase לצאת ולבוא?

What is the meaning of the oft-repeated phrase לצאת ולבוא as in Deuteronomy 31:2 ? I realize it means "to conduct business" or "to lead", but I was hoping for more of a deep dive (does it come from a ...
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125 views

Were Jews enslaved by Egypt or instead corvee labor?

Richard A. Gabriel has a military interpretation of the Exodus. A key part of his analysis is that Avadeem is not the word for slave, it is the word for “worker” or even servant. If this is ...
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1answer
73 views

Ancient Biblic Hebrew [closed]

My question concerns the Biblical Hebrew. In fact I'd like to know whether you know some online course (MOOC or otherwise) which might allow me to study the Biblical Hebrew. I'm interested in ancient ...
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2answers
84 views

What is “קוצר לשחת”?

The mishna, M'nachos 71 amud 1, says: קוצר לשחת ומאכיל לבהמה That is, under the circumstances described there (not important for this question), one is allowed to cut his grain לשחת and feed the ...
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30 views

Why are there so many Nikkudot? [closed]

1) Why does every vowel has more than one way to be written? 2) Does every nekkud has a slightly different pronunciation?
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39 views

How holy is Aramaic?

I've always thought that Hebrew is the Lashon HaKodesh, the language G-d speaks, and the language of Judaism. And that Aramaic is also important but somewhat secondary. But based on this answer, it ...
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19 views

Why is Elokim plural? [duplicate]

There are many names of G-d and all of them seem to be written in a singular form. But Elokim is the only name I know that has an "-im" termination. What is the meaning behind this?
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1answer
52 views

What is the meaning of the term יום טוב (Yom Tov)?

I did a search in Tanac"h for the term יום טוב (along with any prefixes to the term) The term appears a few times in Esther, esp. in the 2nd to last chapter. One example is: Esther 9:19: ...
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48 views

When did the Hebrew language officially get documented? Dictionary and grammar? [closed]

What is the oldest Hebrew dictionary and grammar book? I would also be interested in learning when the script and actual sounds was documented. I'm trying to understand how the language officially ...
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53 views

Jewish word definitions?

I am new to this site and wish to be involved in questions and answers ( As one who has studied the trinity doctrine for many years I may be of some help). As I read through various posts I see terms ...
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49 views

א mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

What is the correct way to pronounce the א (aleph)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah ...
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24 views

What is the difference between these two brachot? [duplicate]

During Shacharit (the morning service) and Ma'ariv (the evening service), these are two blessings that seem quite similar. After the Shema, one says "Baruch ata Hashem, go-al Yisrael." A few minutes ...
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33 views

Is there a term for doing a mitzvah the same way every time?

I read in a book (why can't I find it when I want it?) that among the reasons that a tallit gadol has an atarah on it is because there is value in doing a mitzvah the same way each time. If it did ...
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71 views

English translation for tzaruch

I'm looking for the meaning of "tzaruch" in English. I have read, in Torah sources, that "tzaruch ochel" means "for the purpose of eating". Does the word "tzaruch" alone mean "the purpose", or only ...
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51 views

Meaning of סוף (suf) = weed/reed vs edge/end

What is the original meaning of the word סף and its cognate סוף ? We know that סף in the Bible means edge or threshold. But why does its cognate סוף carry the meaning of weed or reed most of the ...
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86 views

How does “Jezebel” translate into English? [closed]

I've heard some Christian ministries preach that the name-word "Jezebel" can be translated into modern English as: "One with whom there is no cohabitation" They then later expound that the "women's ...
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43 views

vowels on vav before mem

Can someone explain why the following examples, all from parashat ki tzetzeh - כִּי תֵצֵא, are written with a kamatz: "vamet" - וָמֵת - (D'varim 21:21) "vameta" - וָמֵתָה - (D'varim 22:21) "vametu" ...
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29 views

What is the significance of this twirly pe? [duplicate]

The picture below shows two examples of the letter pe. They are both written on the same piece of vellum, in Genesis 23. One pe is written normally, whereas one has a twirl. What's the significance ...
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932 views

“Hello” and “sincerely” when writting letters

Not sure if this falls on the side/outside of the scope of this page. If so, let me know, and I can delete. I have heard of shalom aleichem among people and the reply aleichem shalom, or simply ...
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40 views

Problems of transcription [closed]

mispar hekhrachi is the standard gematria method. But I can not find out which Hebrew word is behind the transcription „hekhrachi“. Can you provide any help?
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84 views

“The local rabbi is in charge” — what's the pithy Hebrew? [closed]

I am failing to recall a pithy phrase involving the word דין to indicate that one should respect the decisions of one's local Rabbi. Something like, 'the decisor of the place is the decisor.' Is there ...
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66 views

Seeking a tool that gives words with a particular gematria [closed]

Seven years ago, just before my son's bris, I found a cool tool. It allowed me to type in the gematria of his name and then produced a list of other words in Ivrit with the same gematria (using the ...
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108 views

Regional Ashkenazi Pronunciation

I don't know if this is the right forum to ask this, but I would like to find audio tracks of Jews from different Ashkenazi communities speaking Hebrew (be they leyning, davening, discoursing or ...
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86 views

Words in Sefarim in Modern Hebrew [closed]

Sometimes in the more modern seforim, I see an alternate spelling of סוגיה instead of סוגיא, with a Hei (ה) replacing the Aleph (א). Why is this? Also, is this done with similar words? For example, ...
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2k views

What does Psalm 82 mean?

6 I -- I have said, 'Gods ye are, And sons of the Most High -- all of you, http://yltbible.com/psalms/82.htm So how many gods are there? Who are "you" here? Are we all gods? Here is the context. ...
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3answers
566 views

Good Jewish Blogs about the Modern Hebrew language? [closed]

Are there any good Jewish Blogs about the Modern Hebrew language?
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1answer
154 views

Why is there a Vuv with a Patach in וַיִּקְרָא?

What is the reason for the patach under the vuv in וַיִּקְרָא, the first word of the third book of the Pentateuch? I would expect a schva, which, at least in modern Hebrew, is what sits under a vuv ...
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4answers
532 views

Tzanua…Not Tznius! [closed]

People often say tznius when they mean to say tzanua. Do you know of any other examples in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Yiddish in which people use the noun but they really mean to use the adjective?
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1answer
197 views

What's the Hebrew idiom for “what's his name” or “What's his face”

I vaguely remember some phrase used in Torah discussions such as "moni palomy" or "moni plamoni" that means "John Doe" or "What's his name" or "John Q Public". Seems like it was used in Ester, but I ...
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99 views

Why is hebrew, the holy language, so messy?

Something that has always bothered me and I've never really understood is why Hebrew is so messy. If it is the language of G-d, the language in which the world was created and the language in which ...
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1answer
149 views

Can someone translate this “hidden” message from Hebrew to English? [closed]

Can someone translate this "hidden" message? I would have pulled out the letters, but it is difficult for me not being very familiar with Hebrew to even identify some of the letters. This is a ...
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2answers
86 views

Different types of giants in Tanach

What's the difference between the ענקים and the רפאים of Tanakh? Both seem to be very large people. Is one a subset of the other? Some Sources: Bamidbar 13:33 and Rashi there, Devarim 3:11
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1answer
95 views

What mean Cholek, Chozer, modey and Gozer?

When studying Masseret Ketubot with a Rabbi, he often says "He is Cholek", "He is Chozer", "He is Modey" or "He is Gozer". These four words seems related. It seems, according to the context, that they ...